In this article I’m going to check out the Tello plans and feature for August 2021.
Tello offers low cost prepaid wireless service plans that cater to people with a variety of different needs, especially consumers with light or moderate needs for talk and data.
Tello uses the T-Mobile 4G LTE and 5G networks. If T-Mobile has coverage in your area, Tello might be aa good choice for you.
While Tello does not provide a coverage map, you can check Tello’s coverage in your are by entering your address on tello.com’s coverage page.
Tello previously used the Sprint network. But since T-Mobile acquired Sprint, Tello has migratedto T-Mobile more modern 4G LTE and 5G network.
Buy a Phone from Tello or Bring Your Own
When you sign up for Tello you’ll have the choice to buy a phone from Tello or bring your own phone.
Tello offers a modest selection of value priced phones. Most of Tello’s phone are certified grade A refurbished phones. At the time I wrote this, Tello only offered three new phones:, a basic flip phone, the Motorola G Play, and the Samsung A12.
With Tello you’ll also have the option to bring your own phone. You’ll simply need to check that your phone is compatible and if it is you can order a $2 SIM Card.
Check your phone’s compatibility on Tello’s Bring Your Own Phone page here. This page also contains more information about which phones you can use with Tello.
Tello Plans and Features
With Tello you can choose to Build Your Own Plan or choose one of their Ready Made Plans.
Ready Made Plans
Tello offers four Ready Made Plans. All Ready Made Plans include:
- Unlimited Nationwide Talk
- Unlimited Nationwide Text
- Unlimited Free International Calling to 60+ countries
The Read Made plans only differ in the amount of high speed data includes with the plan.
$10 Economy Plan
The $10 Economy Plan includes the features listed above and 1 GB of high speed data. While the regular price for this plan is $10 per month, new customers will pay $7.50 per month for the first 6 months.
$14 Value Plan
The $14 Value Plan includes the features listed above and 2 GB of high speed data. While the regular price for this plan is $14 per month, new customers will pay $10.50 per month for the first 6 months.
$19 Smart Plan
The $19 Smart Plan includes the features listed above and 4 GB of high speed data. While the regular price for this plan is $19 per month, new customers will pay $14.30 per month for the first 6 months.
$39 Unlimited Plan
The $39 Unlimited Plan includes the features listed above and “unlimited” high speed data. While Tello calls this plan “unlimited”, it actually includes 25GB of high speed data.
It’s a common practice for prepaid wireless companies to call a plan with a large amount of fixed high speed data, “unlimited”. I’d prefer if they didn’t do this and simply listed the amount of high speed data included. In the end what’s important is just that the consumer understands what’s included in the plan so they can determine if a plan meets their needs.
While the regular price for this plan is $39 per month, new customers will pay $29.3 per month for the first 6 months.
More about Data
With all these plans, if you use up all you high speed data, you’ll still be connected, but a reduced 2G speeds which will limit many of your internet activities. Unused high speed data is lost at when you plan renews, it does not roll over.
Build Your Own Plans
Tello also offers the option to build your own plan. You can choose the amount for talk and data you need. The build your own plans are great for people with little or modest needs. Build your own plans let you spend your money where you need it and save money on by not paying for what you don’t need.
Tello lets you select the amount of talk you need and the amount of data you need. For talk you can choose between a fixed amount of minutes or unlimited minutes. You can choose No Talk, 100 minutes, 300 minutes, 500 minutes or Unlimited minutes. For data, you can choose no data, 500MB, 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 6GB, 8GB or unlimited data(25GB).
Free text messages are included with any plan that includes talk.
Tello offers family plans. As far as I can tell you will not see any additional discounts by adding 2 or more lines to your account. As Tello’s price are pretty low, I can see they may not be room for additional discounts. As far as I can tell, Tello family plans simply let you manage multiple lines from one account.
Add On Data
Tello does not offer a specific option to purchase Add On high speed data if you use up all your data before your plan renews. According to the FAQ in Tello’s Help Center, you can purchase Pay As You Go credit and use that to purchase data.
With Pay as You Go you purchase $20, $30, $40, or $50 credits up front and minutes, texts, and data are deducted from your balance as used. These credits expire after 90 days.
However, I was not able to find how much you’d pay for data with these credits anywhere on tello.com. According to another website, WhistleOut, you’d pay $0.02 per MB of data. This comes out to $20 per GB. This is expensive for add-on data. If you run out of high speed data, it may be better to simply renew your plan early to get more data.
All Tello plans with data include Mobile Hotspot. Tello refers to this as “Tethering” in the plan description.
I did not find it in the details but I assume you can use up to all your plan data with mobile hotspot. For the unlimited plan, that would be up to 25GB of data, but check with customer service if that is important to you.
Mobile Hotspot lets you connect your laptop, tablet, or other Wi-Fi connected device to the Internet using your phone’s cellular data connection.
Tello supports Wi-Fi calling on compatible phones.
Wi-Fi calling lets your phone make and receive calls and texts using your active Wi-Fi connection rather than the cellular network.
According to the FAQ in the Help Center, tello.com supports Visual Voicemail on compatible phones and regular voicemail on phones that do not support voicemail.